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Minnesota man charged in wife's overdose death

Investigators say he promised his wife she would not die in a nursing home.

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 7:41 AM

SEARLES, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man accused of removing his ailing wife from a care center, taking her home and holding what he described as a "death party" before she died has been charged with murder.

Fifty-eight-year-old Duane Johnson had been charged with criminal neglect in the January death of his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, at their home in Searles. Brown County prosecutors have now added a third-degree murder charge.

Prosecutors say Johnson told investigators he was fulfilling a promise to his wife that he would not let her die in a nursing home when he removed her from a transitional care facility against medical advice. Authorities say Johnson told them he gave some methamphetamine to his wife because she wanted to party before her death.

A criminal complaint says the 69-year-old woman died of a methamphetamine overdose.

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